Sunday, May 30, 2010

Badlands & Mt. Rushmore

Back to the travelogue.

Thursday I got up way tooooo early - at least for most folks on a "vacation". But you have to get up early if you want to get some of the best light of the day - sunrise.

For the first time on these trips, the sky was clear in the morning. A few clouds would have made more interesting photos, the the colors were good. My original plan was to drive the Badlands Loop Road again this morning to shoot with the morning sun. But with the construction on the road, decided to take a pass. Within an hour, I was ready to head back to the motel and pack up.

On over to the Black Hills. Drove down to Hermosa and West to the Iron Mountain Road. This is a favorite of mine - twisty, hilly road, some tunnels, and pigtail bridges. The tunnels all provide a view of Mt. Rushmore through the tunnel.

Along the iron Mountain road, don't miss the Norbeck Memorial Overlook. It provides 2 nice vista of Mt. Rushmore. The photo here is taken from the overlook. Processed HDR with the "grunge" effect. For those interested, these HDR photos have been processed with Photomatix Light. Check it out - at $40, its worth every penny!

Next was to Mt. Rushmore itself. Took some photos from the Grand Terrace. May go back Monday to take more along the paved trail there. Anyway, I was getting antsy to get my motel, but its a little too early. Decided to drive over through Hill City, head North to highway 44. I noticed a waterfall on my map. As I neared the waterfall, I found it is on a cave. i was not ready to stop to pay the cave tour so see the underwater waterfall.

I checked in the Days Inn on Jackson (same place I stayed later year). I like this motel with reasonable rates and about a block from the bicycle trail. And there's a grocery store next door.

After getting settling into the motel, I relaxed. Soon enough it was time to drive back to Mt. Rushmore for the evening lighting ceremony. Was early enough to take some shot of the Memorial in dusk-light.

Relaxed over a dish of ice cream then set up for the lighting ceremony. I was able to take some good shots of the Memorial and the state flags along the walkway to the Grand Terrace.

Finally, a tired photographer headed back to the motel and crashed. Tomorrow - BHFTF.

No comments: